NEW YORK — Origins is heading to the doctor’s office for its latest project.
The brand has signed a multiyear deal with Andrew Weil, M.D., encompassing both product development and spokesman duties. Weil’s first task will be to collaborate on a new wellness-focused product line that Origins intends to launch in late fall 2005. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Weil, a best-selling author and a Harvard-educated physician who has long been a proponent of the integration of both traditional and alternative forms of medicine, makes a “perfect partner” for Origins, said Daria Myers, president of Origins and a founding member of that brand.
“Dr. Weil’s philosophy matches the philosophy of Origins,” said Myers. “We believe that there are many ways to approach personal care and wellness, and alternative offerings such as aromatherapy have always been part of our message. Not only does Dr. Weil embody that message, this deal also gives Origins a very credible way to expand in the ingestible category, as well as other categories.”
While Myers is not necessarily speaking about, say, a vitamin line, the deal could include items such as tonics and other herbal remedies, she said. However, Myers is quick to point out that the planned line is still on the drawing board and that Weil’s expertise will not be limited to any one category in which the brand operates.
“My belief for the brand is that in whatever we do going forward, it has to be connected to wellness,” said Myers, a 27-year veteran of the Estée Lauder Cos. who rejoined the Origins brand last December after stints at sister divisions Aveda and BeautyBank. “We’re a beauty brand and have skin care and makeup, but we were created on the foundation of wellness. That’s our mission and everything we come out with going forward will be connected to that.”
Myers also added that Weil, who created and runs the integrative medicine program at the University of Arizona at Tucson, will donate all of his aftertax profits from the Origins line to the Weil Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational programs, grants and research to advance integrative medicine.
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“I’m delighted to partner with a respected organization like Origins who will give consumers access to quality products, allowing them to live healthy, balanced lifestyles,” said Weil in a statement.
“In addition to being an internationally acclaimed physician and respected medical botanist, Dr. Weil is truly one of the most recognizable health leaders in the country, if not the world,” said Philip Shearer, group president of the Estée Lauder Cos., in a statement. “He epitomizes the qualities that so many of the Origins consumers aspire to — wellness and the passionate interest in healthy and natural living for obtaining balance inside and out.”
Origins, launched in 1990, is now available in about 425 U.S. department and specialty stores and 125 freestanding Origins retail stores, as well as in venues globally.
— Julie Naughton